Barbara Shaw and Derek Walker will represent the Central Land Council on the 12-member board of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Investment Corporation.

Ms Shaw, from Alice Springs, and Mr Walker, from Alekarenge, were chosen at the CLC meeting in Tennant Creek, in a secret ballot run by the NT Electoral Commission.

In a significant step towards greater Aboriginal control over the 1.3 billion dollar Aboriginals Benefit Account, the new corporation will manage the payments to Aboriginal Territorians and their organisations known as ABA grants.

The corporation, a commonwealth corporate entity established under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, will also make investments and provide financial assistance “to or for the benefit of” NT Aboriginal people.

Its board has a majority of Aboriginal members, including two from each of the four NT land councils.

“For the first time, an Aboriginal-controlled body will make decisions about ABA funds and I look forward to our members shaping the corporation that brings the ABA home to the NT, where it belongs,” said CLC chief executive Les Turner.

The ABA distributes the equivalents of royalties generated by mining on Aboriginal land in the NT, and the CLC has advocated for Aboriginal control over this income for more than three decades.

The council also elected a new leadership team that represents the CLC regions.

The new CLC chair, Robert Hoosan, and deputy chair, Warren Williams, will be joined on the executive committee by Barbara Shaw (Alice Springs region), Charles Gibson (South West region), Valerie Martin (Tanami region), Martin Jugadai (Western region), Sandra Jones Morrison (Tennant Creek region), Jackie Mahoney (Eastern Sandover region), Neville Petrick (Eastern Plenty region) and Kim Brown (Central region).

The North West region delegates will chose an executive member at a later date.

7 April 2022